Photo credit Corey Reece/Image Shack

Scrutineering at Automotive Art Welches Saturday afternoon

Three-time winner of the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) premier event, Jamaica’s Jeff Panton starts his preparations for Sol Rally Barbados 2017 in earnest on Sunday (April 23), seeded at number one for the Automotive Art Shakedown Stages. The 38-car running order was confirmed at last night’s (Thursday) Briefing Meeting at Copacabana, Bay Street, for what is now round one of the BRC Driver’s and Class Championships.

  With 10 stages over 37 kilometres – a little under one-third of the projected distance for Sol RB17 – Sunday’s event will give crews some valuable pointers as to where they stand against the opposition and whether their winter development work has paid off. Scrutineering at Automotive Art Welches from 2.00 to 6.00pm tomorrow (Saturday) will also give island fans their first chance to check out some of the overseas visitors.

  With regular co-driver Mike Fennell in his Ford Focus WRC06, Panton starts ahead of Roger Skeete and Louis Venezia (Subaru Impreza WRC S12B) and Britain’s Rob Swann, who won last year’s Shakedown Stages on the debut of his Impreza S12B; he rekindles his successful partnership with Welsh co-driver Darren Garrod. Roger Hill and Graham Gittens complete the WRC class in their Toyota Corolla WRC, which enjoyed a ground-up rebuild over the closed season.

  Trinidad & Tobago’s David Coelho has shipped his Group A Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX back to Barbados and will enjoy competition from Avinash Chatrani (Evo VI), while Andrew Mallalieu (Impreza N10) will be targeting a fourth consecutive GpN victory, which he won last year by a margin of less than a quarter of a second from Mark Thompson (Evo IX).

  Despite the absence of Josh Read and Roger Mayers, who finished second and third overall, the fight for two-wheel-drive honours will still be a tough one, with Barry Mayers (Ford Fiesta), 2014 & ’15 BRC Champion Driver Rhett Watson (BMW M3) and Dane Skeete (Peugeot 306 Maxi), who are seeded at four, six and eight respectively, expected to be the leading contenders. Also in the mix will be Andrew Jones (Ford Escort MkII), Justin Campbell (M3), Reigning Champion Driver Daryl Clarke, who will debut his new Honda Civic, former 2wd Champion Logan Watson (M3) and Neil Corbin, who has upgraded his Toyota Starlet to SuperModified 1.

  Panton, Swann and Coelho are the top seeds among a total of seven overseas entries, a record in recent years outside Sol Rally Barbados: with Coelho back in GpA, his GpN Evo IX will be campaigned by American former drag and circuit racer George Sherman, who has serviced for Coelho on Sol RB in recent years; from the Turks & Caicos Islands, Stan Hartling and Paul Horton are joined for the first time by Jamaican-born T & C resident Pierre Beswick. Hartling will debut his recently-completed BMW M3, while Horton and Beswick are both Citroen-mounted - Horton in the DS 3 R3 MAX which he first campaigned in the Motoring Club of Barbados Inc’s recent event, down on power due to a fuel-mapping issue, and Beswick, hopefully, in his C2 R2 MAX, which was still in the Bridgetown Port on Friday morning.

  Ten special stages are planned at two venues, with the 9.30am start, lunch break and finish (approximately 4.30pm) at the Kendal Plantation Yard in St John. In the morning, there will be three runs of a 4.2-kilometre stage from Society to Pool, alternating with two runs from Wilson Hill to Malvern (3.2kms). In the afternoon, the stages will be reversed, with two runs from Pool to Society and three from Malvern to Wilson Hill. The Service Park will also be at Kendall, as will the post-event Prizegiving, scheduled for approximately 5.30pm.

Automotive Art Shakedown Stages - Sunday, April 23 Provisional running order at April 21:

1 Jeffrey Panton – JAM/Michael Fennell Jnr – JAM (WRC Rubis/Sandals Barbados/KIG Ford Focus WRC06)

2 Roger Skeete/Louis Venezia (WRC Sol/Flow/Automotive Art/Simpson Motors/WTI Subaru Impreza WRC S12B)

3 Rob Swann – ENG/Darren Garrod - WAL (WRC Elegant Hotels/Blue Sky Luxury/Cygnet Plant Subaru Impreza WRC S12B)

4 Barry Mayers/Ben Norris (SM2 Chefette/Rubis/Digicel/DHL/Hankook/Illusion Graphics Ford Fiesta)

5 Roger Hill/Graham Gittens (WRC Esso/Nassco/MotorMac/Pennzoil Toyota Corolla WRC)

6 Rhett Watson/James Hutchinson (SM3 Chefette/Power King Batteries/Gliptone/Stihl/Gunk/The Unknown Entity, in support of Little Pink Gift BMW M3)

7 Andrew Mallalieu/Geoff Goddard (GpN Terra Caribbean Subaru Impreza N10)

8 Dane Skeete/Tyler Mayhew (SM2 Sol/Flow/Automotive Art/Williams Trading Inc Peugeot 306 Maxi)

9 Andrew Jones/Lindsey Pilkington – ENG (SM2 Lucozade/Caribbean Powder Coating/AP Jones Pharmacy Ford Escort MkII)

10 Mark Thompson/Kurt Seabra - GUY (GpN Glassesco/NKM Clothing/Bio-Beauty Day Spa/SLAM 101.1FM Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX)

11 David Coelho – TRI/James Harris – ENG (GpA Subway/Zanzibar/Kaizan Sushi Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX)

12 Justin Campbell/Juan Watts (SM3 Republic Bank/Five Star Fast Track/Hilton Barbados/Automotive Art/Dream Solutions/Hilti/#RAY BMW M3)

14 Avinash Chatrani/Eric Allamby (GpA Lenovo/PowerBass/Gunk/iShop Barbados/Copacabana Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI)

15 Daryl Clarke/Russell Brancker (M2 Flow/Automotive Art/Amir’s Chicken/MQI Collision Repair/Valvoline Honda Civic)

16 David St Hill/Ian Grimes (SM3 BMW M3)

17 Logan Watson/Brian Gibson (SM3 Subzero Services Ltd/Sign Depot, in support of The Little Pink Gift Foundation BMW M3)

18 Neil Corbin/Matthew Staffner (SM1 Nassco/H Jason Jones/Emtage Electric/BG Products & Services/Auto Solutions/Valvoline/Sun General Insurance Toyota Starlet)

19 Jeremy Gonsalves/Rommell Martin (SM1 Sign Depot/Valvoline/Makita/Star Products/ John Hardman Engineering Opel Corsa)

20 Stuart McChlery/James Goddard (SM2 Lubriguard/Gunk/Lenovo/PowerBass Ford Escort MkI)

21 Paul Horton - TCI/Dwayne Forde (M2 Turks Head Brewery/Java Island/Sky Motorsports/H Racing Citroen DS 3 R3 MAX)

22 Stan Hartling - TCI/Andy Proudfoot – CDN (SM3 Bambarra Rum/H Racing BMW M3)

23 Philip Moe/Adrian Gittens (SM1 Sunbay Hotel/CAM2 Racing Oils/Mark’s Auto Spares Toyota Corolla)

24 Jamal Brathwaite/Dario Hoyte (M2 Platinum Motors/Valvoline/Automotive Art/Sunoco Fuels/Consumers Guarantee Insurance/JSB Motorsport/Urgent Care Mobile/Ellesmere Quarries Honda Civic Type-R)

25 Edward Corbin/Johnathan Alleyne (M1 Valvoline/Hilti/Pro Sales Daihatsu Charmant)

26 Kurt Thompson/Adam Straker (M2 Glassesco/NKM Clothing/Bio-Beauty Day Spa/SLAM 101.1FM/Y103.3FM Honda Civic)

27 Wayne Archer/Tristan Gibbs (Hist Archers Hall Design Centre/Arrow Woodworking/Arrow Construction/D & A Mechanical Services BMW 325)

28 Jermin Pope/Aaron Kirton (C1 Good Time Snacks/Uniform Factory Outlet/Niccolls & Edghill/Glassesco/NKM Clothing/SLAM 101.1FM Honda Civic)

29 George Sherman - USA/Anthony Sherman - USA (GpN Total/VP Racing Fuels Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX)

30 Paul Inniss/Pierre Clarke (M1 Durex Barbados/Brydens Insurance/East Point Grill/Hugh Autobody/Chicken Stop/Tint Plus/Caribbean Villa Chefs/JJ Racing Team Honda Civic)

31 Calvin Briggs/Ryan Wood (GpB Massy Realty/Lucas Oils Ford Sierra)

32 Greg Cozier/Natasha Farnum (C2 Motorsport Tool Kits BMW 318ti Compact)

33 Derek Edwards/Damien Johnson (C2 D & A Mechanical Services/Arrow Construction BMW 318ti Compact)

34 Allan Kinch/Allan Maynard (C2 Jolly Roger BMW 318ti Compact)

35 Trevor Mapp/Allister Nurse (C1 JSB Motorsport/Chicken Pen Racing/AS Autostop/Valvoline/Ellesmere Quarries Mitsubishi Colt Mivec RS)

36 John Corbin/Rashid Phillips (Hist Valvoline/Hilti/Pro Sales Toyota Corolla)

37 Stuart Garcia/Rasheed Smith (C2 Intelligent Defence Systems/Smiths Engineering Works BMW 318ti Compact)

38 Shon Cummins/Kareem Gaskin (C1 BMW 316)

39 Pierre Beswick – TCI/Leslie Evanson (M1 H Racing/Sky Motorsport Citroen C2 R2 MAX)



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